Woodland birds

Woodlands are very important habitats for Scottish birds – and not only because of the large areas involved.

Scotland's rich native broadleaved woodlands support an equally rich range of breeding birds including the:

  • redstart
  • tree pipit
  • wood warbler

Our Scots pine woodlands, both natural and planted, are home to:

  • capercaillie
  • crested tit

Effects of conifer planting

The planting of Scotland’s uplands with conifer species accelerated in the second half of the 20th century, transforming landscapes in many areas. This resulted in changes in bird communities. Yet a wide range of species can be found in these habitats.

Species usually associated with broadleaved woodland and open ground can thrive in some of the growth stages present in many older conifer crops.

For example:

  • meadow pipit, tree pipit and whinchat may breed on clear-felled areas
  • dunnock, lesser redpoll and willow warbler are found in crops before canopy closure

Older tree stands attract:

  • song thrush
  • blackbird
  • woodcock
  • several species of raptor

Species that rely on conifers have greatly extended their range in Scotland, including:

  • siskin
  • common crossbill
  • goldcrest
  • coal tit

Find out more

Read our guidance for planners and developers on protected animals.

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